1153 posts • joined Friday 1st June 2012 10:28 GMT
"Yes, they could opt to reduce their profit to keep the final price down, but do you believe for one single second that they would?"
Well as not all businesses are playing the same tax dodging game. So Starbucks would become more expensive than Costa; Amazon would lose some, maybe all their price edge. In some cases John Lewis would be cheaper than Amazon with a 10% uplift.
So it becomes the tax-dodger's call, and then the choice of their customers. If you love Starbucks, and want to pay the UK tax that they ought to pay, then you'd be free to do so.
Re: It's the best theory we have so far@Destroy All Monsters
"Dark Matter is pretty well established by observation "
Well I've not seen any, and I've turned all the cushions over, and put my hand into the sofa silt. You send me a matchbox of the stuff and I'll upvote you, can't say fairer than that.
Re: Sod the clock - @ I Am Spartacus
"WHAT - A public train service makes a profit?? COME ON NETWORK SOUTHEAST - Get your act together, and find out how!!!!"
I'll tell you how: On 2010-ish data, Swiss Railways income is 25% above the combined UK rail industry's income (that's gross revenues per passenger km). I've not adjusted for freight traffic because ICBA, but my fag packet calculations suggest that would actually increase the difference by a few per cent.
So if you want Swiss style railways, no problem, we do know how it is done, and it involves paying out 25% more than at present. With UK government rail support to the tune of about a third of the total, to raise 25% of gross revenues through fare and freight increases would require the rail user to see a circa 35% increase on tickets.
Go sell that one to Network Southeast's punters!
Re: what do you expect them to do@DanDanDan
"You can't tax sales, that's ridiculous"
Of course you can. Petrol, fags, booze have punitive sales taxes added, and most items are subject to VAT; property has stamp duty charged. In the case of VAT these costs are mostly reclaimable by all except the retail customer, but the other taxes usually aren't. Arguably personal income tax is simply a sales tax on the sale of your labour to an employer.
A sales tax where avoidance of corporation taxes is clear is a damn good idea, and could even be simplified by tweaking the rules on VAT to make it reclaimable except in those circumstances. Somebody will now say "you can't do that because" but there's already situations where companies can't reclaim VAT, usually of a fairly technical nature (for example certain retail loan administration costs).
What is lacking here is (as usual) the political will to take a problem, and fix it. Grandstanding on a palrliamentary committee is a nice bit of fun, but this shower aren't accountable for anything, and I can't see that flea-brain Osborne fixing this ever.
Re: Totally agree.
"So what do you expect them to do - just ignore it?"
No, what I expect them to do is copy the practice, and that's exactly what Margaret Hodge's family company Stemcor does. UK revenues of £2.1bn, and paid taxes equating to 0.01% of those revenues. Good socialist values Margaret! Not that the rest of the Westminster leeches of any political persuasion are any better.
Remember, fellow commentards, having the one job and paying your fair share of tax applies to us, not them.
Re: What the West should be doing...
"But local robots are cheaper still. In both the latter cases unemployment rises, but in the latter case, money is clawed back through local taxes and less money going abroad."
How will money be clawed back locally, given that there will be fewer and fewer people in employment to pay for the product, generating revenues and taxable profits for the makers?
In some utopian future we might need some means of sharing out machine generated wealth amongst a largely idle population (not that the "idle consumer" model has worked terribly well in the oil rich Gulf states), but in the transitional phase that we appear to be approaching there's going to be a lot of difficulty as some people have to work, and an increasing number do not. The UK is one of the most de-industrialised societies in the world, but even we've found that services don't make up the gap, nor do welfare payments make for a balanced society.
"The web is one vast photo orphaning machine."
I sympathise, but what should we do about it? Do you suggest that we turn the clock back, lock down the IP, and try and shut down the tens of thousands of illegal re-posters? Its an idea, but I just can't see it working, it would just be whack-a-mole requiring a lot of whacking resource, but not actually changing much (and being vastly unpopular).
Is there some credible compromise where work (even non-orphan) is free for private, non-profit making use, but where companies are specifically disallowed from using orphan works? There's a few loose ends, but I could see this being made broadly workable.
Almost the exact opposite of what's being proposed, but then we never believed they worked for us, did we?
Re: And the USA wonders why @Matt Bryant
I call Godwin.
The rest of your spittle frothed invective doesn't really merit a response, but can I ask why do you let yourself down like this? Sometimes you're capable of reasoned thought and make good contributions, but only the other week you made an ass of yourself in a discussion with h4rmony, in exactly the same manner as you have here, spiralling down to abuse when you don't seem to be getting the better of the argument. It's not the name calling that I mind - I can do that when I choose, and I'm not posting under my given name - but that you're cr@pping on your own lawn needlessly.
All of us are wrong sometimes, but I find it better to slink away quietly on those (hopefully) rare occasions that I mess up - you might want to try that.
Big country differences
Looking at the linked report, it's intriguing to see the big differences between the percentage of accessible systems by country. So the UK economy is very similar in size to Italy and France, yet the UK has 1.4% of the sample of accessible SCADA systems, Italy has 6.8%, France 3.9%. The US economy is about five times the size of the UK, yet they have over 20x more accessible systems. Bear in mind that we're talking about SCADA, which mostly isn't not rocket science, so you'd expect the volume of gear (and thus vulnerabilies) to broadly track the size of the economy.
China's looks to be doing very well, although from the vendor names it would appear that the authors focused on Western SCADA brands.
So, IT security types, do these country differences mean anything? Is the UK doing as well (or less badly) as the report suggests, or is the report talking tosh?
Re: I'm gonna get flamed for this
"The way I see it, the scroat is taunting a heck of a lot of people"
Scrote, not scroat. Think what it's shortened from, and then how you have to add a vowel on the end to avoid it being "scrot".
Scroat sounds like a small furry animal, a sort of Scottish version of a ferret.
Re: This is why
"I save personal opinions for more anonymous forums like 4chan, Listverse and the comments pages of El Reg, "
Maybe, but there's not complete freedom of speech round here, even if tolerance of implolite langugage is for the most part quite good. You only have to try moderately hard to have a comment withdrawn on El Reg (calling an AC a c*** seemed to do it the other day).
Re: Will it be available in the UK at a reasonable price
The unsubsidised version is around Rs 4999, say $90 or £70. But that's in India. Factor in delivery and import duties if a personal import, or if resold into the UK add commercial profit margin and UK service costs, plus VAT, and you could be looking at £120.
At that price you're starting to see (surprise, surprise) that's its not much more competitve than the lower end of the market, which given the likely component sources seems to be obvious. Note as well that the Datawind business model is not to allow access to the Android market, but to sell apps through a dedicated store - one of the ways of getting the price down being to make money on the apps. In this respect the Aakash isn't really like the Raspberry Pi at all. You could perhaps root the tablet, but given the extent of custom hardware you'd be taking a gamble.
There is talk of selling this into Western markets, but as they can't make enough for the Indian market at the moment then you might have to wait a long while.
"I also don't like sanctimonious Iran-bashing (if you note my first comment here), but US hypocrisy doesn't make Iran equivalent to US or Israel, logically or morally."
I don't believe anybody has suggested that it is. As I see it Iran is a fetid, corrupt third world dump, governed by an anti-democratic bunch of thugs, schemers and pseudo-clerics. But as we've seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, you can't impose modern western values and structures on these countries - it took the West around five hundred years to get to current (rather suspect) levels of democracy and freedom compared to where the Middle East is.
The big question is how to deal with Iran and its nuclear ambitions. Sanctions have done little in this or other countries. Military intervention has, and will have, no UN support, and is unlikely to have a desired outcome. Even if they sterilised the Iranian nuke programme, they have committed an act of war against a country that has focused on asymmetric warfare, thus opening up a series of follow on problems of regional stability. North Korea is even more of an unstable basket case than Iran, already have nuclear technologies, and nobody is suggesting pre-emptive bombings there.
On the subject of where Israel's nuclear tech came from, maybe it didn't come from the US - we aren't going to ever find out, and I'll choose to believe that the US did supply some of it. Having bankrolled the Israeli military to the tune of almost $100 billion, and supplied most of the aircraft for Israel's airforce, all of its attack helicopters, many of its missiles, I can't see why they wouldn't go the whole hog. And if the US didn't approve, then they wouldn't continue to bankroll Israel, would they, given the leverage they have? So the US actively offer economic and military support to the posession of nuclear weapons by a NPT non-signatory.
And why would France supply nuclear tech to Israel? At the time that Israel was developing these weapons, France had an embargo on weapons sales to Israel (and Israel developed the pre-embargo Mirages into the Kfir because they couldn't get more advanced French jets). Do you really think they were proposing not to sell a few guns and planes, but happy to sell critical nuke technology? Perhaps they were, I don't believe it, and I smell a cover story that is intended to distract attention from the obvious tech supplier.
Re: And the USA wonders why @Matt Bryant
".....I should point out that I'm no friend of Iran....." Nope, you'er just the usual frothing Libtard without a clue, hence your not knowing about Iran and the NPT."
Likewise, I could have accused you of being some bitter GOP neocon, still frothing over Medicare and the relection of Obama. But I haven't, and don't, because the process of debate is not helped by weak and unjustified ad hominems, and because unlike you I'm not jumping to any conclusions about who you are, where you're from, and what you believe - other than that which you put your name to.
If you want to take issue about treaties in such a pompous manner, then do feel free. So what if Iran signed the NPT? They are being menaced by a nuclear armed non-signatory of the NPT, who have conducted assassinations and sabotage within the borders of Iran, and in their place I'd be fully committed to achieving a better balance of arms. Try putting yourself in the place of the rulers of Iran - looking at recent history (Israeli sabotage and assassinations, Israel's one sided war on Lebanon etc, a US war of choice in Iraq, US & NATO intervention in Libya, "whenever we like" drone strikes from Somalia through to Pakistan). Now why would you trust the West for a nano-second?
And I do believe that the US will have signed treaties to safeguard people against torture, funnily enough they choose not to abide by those when it suits them. But that'll be different, won't it?
Re: And the USA wonders why it is so despised world-wide?
"So in other words, what you're saying is that you aren't able to address factual argument about NPT presented in point 1 and philosophical one in point 2."
Let me offer a view on the NPT aspect. Israel got most of its nuke tech from the US. You can claim otherwise, but that's about as likely as Belgium developing advanced nuclear technologies entirely on its own.
So both Iran and Israel are in receipt of bits of US developed nuclear technology. Neither are NPT signatories, but you're trying to claim that its OK for one to develop nuclear weapons (the one that goes round bombing neighbouring countries' infrastructure), but not the other one (which other than a modest bit of regional shit stirring hasn't attacked anybody for a long, long while).
I should point out that I'm no friend of Iran, but all this sanctimonious demonisation of the country doesn't convince anybody other than the neocons who write it, and actively impedes any prospect of stability.
Re: And the USA wonders @solidsoup
"in large part you owe your high standard of living to those who play these shadow games for the benefit and well-being of our countries and citizens"
I think you watch too much TV, or are daft enough to believe what your government tell you - probably the latter judging by your emotive language. The standards of living in the UK, Europe, and the US are down to the rule of law and hard work, and the material threat from third world hell holes is minimal (and that threat is increased by the shadow wars, interventions and provocations of the West). Even if every claimed terror threat that the bearded loones have attempted had delivered a "successful" attack, the impact would be substantially less than most countries kill in car crashes in a week. The UK, you may remember, faced an active terrorist threat from Irish terrorists for twenty years without materially affecting our standard of living. But of course that was actively sponsored and supported by the Yanks, who did nothing to close down scum like Noraid, and precious little to intercept weapons, and deliberately refused to return fugitive terrorists. Funny how you lot became all serious about selected forms of terrorism when Bin Laden sent a calling card.
I'd agree that Stuxnet is part of a shadow war, but lets be clear about who initiated cyber warfare, and legitamised its use in peace time. Interesting to note that only now, four years after they commissioned these acts of agression, are Western governments starting to worry about the threat to their own infrastructure. Do you really call that working for our benefit and well-being? I call that a shocking lack of preparation, and akin to invading a country without any clue or plan for what you're going to do when you've won the war.
Re: better dead than red
"Picking up the slack" implies that there's a necessary role in starting random wars in poor countries. Do feel free to start the next one on your own, because I've seen enough servicemen's funerals in the name of no good cause.
In fact, despite a family background in the military, and having worked myself on military systems, I think that the British government NOT having the means to engage in misguided wars is probably a good thing. You Yanks should try it.
Mea culpa: Yeah, I know I shouldn't feed the trolls.
Re: It's a start Oh no it's not!
"Choose sectors we can be good at, and stuff them with money. Then we might just be able to compete."
Yeah. The government picking the winners and backing them. A long history of success in that idea. Remember Harold Wilson's "white heat of technology"? BAe was one of the end results of the government backing winning sectors like aerospace. And as a result we can't even built entire aircraft ourselves, unlike (say) Sweden, France, Germany etc. Or nuclear power - a glorious and long history of vast state investment, subsidies and support, but our next generation of reactors will be designed in Japan or the US.
Government have already decided that "green" tech is a place for us to be future winners, and they've stuffed that with subsidies, but have a look at who makes the stuff, and where they make it. Again, we're not in the running.
Something's wrong, badly wrong, but expecting government to sort it out by choosing winners and investing in them is madness.
A fine move
....from the same people who a week ago were promising to stand up to substantial increases in European Union budgets.
A 38% increase in the budget for ESA is obviously a bargain as austerity starts to bite here at home, and think what we're going to get for this money: The Galileo sat nav system, because, well, because.
Any support for the ideqa of starting an e-petition on the No10 web site, asking for the public strangulation of Cameron and Osbourne?
Re: About time, I suppose
"paradigms are changing"
This expression is usually deployed when something obviously pants is being defended, like ludicrous stock valuations. I continue to dispute that our critical national infrastructure is at risk - the limits of e-attacks are largely spying and defacing a company's marketing.
Stuxnet DID have limited success. it hasn't stopped Iranian enrichment, merely delayed it. If you're easily pleased then that could of course count as success, but as I see it the original problem hasn't gone away, and in the time bought no new solutions have supplied themselves. Moreover, the effective announcement of Stuxnet as Western cyber warfare effectively justifies the same peace time approach by everybody else.
The other aspect about Stuxnet is that it got onto air-gapped SCADA systems. So what exactly will the genii at Detica be suggesting? Air gapping clearly has limited value, proprietary systems are not immune, and security through obscurity doesn't work.
BAES can't even set up a merger that works. Astute is over budget, the aircraft-free carriers are over budget. Every single Nimrod variant was over budget, Typhoon is over budget. Type 45 is over budget - need I go on?
Re: All the usual suspects pigging out at the trough
Centrica, the gas supplier? Methinks you mean Crapita.
Re: FFS Leave him alone!@ David Neil
But accepting that point he should have been given a reward for showing up the shoddy and amateurish US defence systems security.
Re: FFS Leave him alone!
Go on then, tell us what public interest will be served, or what aspect of justice will be achieved by prosecuting him?
He's been punished more than enough by being hounded for a fucking decade by a vindictive foreign state for a crime that at the time had a penalty of about £500 fine in the UK. As with the Wikileaks affair, the Yanks are getting on their uppers not because any material harm has been done, but because they have been embarrassed as a result of their failure to properly secure their own systems. Personally, I don't want yet more public money wasted on this affair.
FFS Leave him alone!
You'd have thought that it would be pretty obvious that nothing is going to be achieved by prosecuting McKinnon. Poor bugger's been through hell for ten years (for effectively pushing on an open door), and still the make work tossers of the state are trying to find something to prosecute him for.
Of course, far too much like hard work to find those guilty for the near collapse of the banking system, or those who made up the "evidence" to justify war in Iraq.
Re: I Struggle
"I Struggle.. to work out what's actually wrong with this initiative."
What's wrong is that the starting point is wrong, in an assumption by government that all (or a lot of) our critical infrastructure is cobbled on to the internet with no more security than a password of "password", and a user ID of "admin". I'm sure there's more than a few instances of dodgy security, but the implied threat is largely fictitious, like most of the things government work bravely and tirelessly to save us from.
However, to appoint BAe (involved in every major defence overspend and procurement failure in the past forty years) to give advice on this is not going to end well. The consultants will undoubtedly come up with a series of recommendations with a high cost, to be paid by you through your utility bills, but in reality offering no material advantage to your security.
All of this "cyber security" claptrap is being parroted by a government that has virtually no IT or science expertise amongst its MPs (or civil servants, if we judge by results), and you can be sure that BIS or whoever will have drawn a narrow remit that precludes any bigger picture application of common sense. So you might feel happy that the electricity companies are going to be paying for BAe's expertise, but what do you think National Grid's IT bods have been doing all these years? Even then, the physical threat remains, so that you could for example bring down the power grid to the entire south east of England with a handful of well placed devices, and in a manner that would take weeks to resolve.
We certainly do need to keep in mind the threat of systems intrusion and electronic attack, but the limited success of Stuxnet with the backing of the largest and smartest world technology power, and the delivery by the world's most effective spying, intelligence and sabotage power (Israel) shows that the whole cyber warfare risk is over-rated.
Come El Reg, make an FOI request for how they have arrived at this daft number.
Re: More rules = more loopholes, idiots.
"The government taxes as much as it can from everyone and then spends accordingly."
If only that were true. I'm sorry to break this one to you, but the government spend regardless of how much they get in taxes, and that's why this country's national debt is now somewhere around £1.2 trillion, all of which has to be serviced until it can be inflated away. Half of that is down to two men, Brown and Blair, who should be tortured in a humourous manner and then burnt at the stake for their reckless and traitorous incompetence (noting that Cameron and Osbourne are no better).
"Make AVOIDANCE illegal."
So you've never filled in a self assessment tax form and put anything in the deductions?
And you're proposing to make illegal that which is specifically not illegal? Why not just confiscate all private wealth, and have the state decide how it should be spent. Worked a treat in Russia.
Re: Ban international companies.@James Micallef
"Just remove ALL exceptions / exemptions, remove the difference between corporate and private rates, and remove the difference between tax on earned income, capital gains, private equity etc."
Yes, that'd be an excellent idea as well. Kill employer's NIC, and "climate change levies" and all other taxes on employment, and we're starting to get somewhere. I think non-reclaimable VAT would still be needed to stop tax tourism, but between us there's the making of a strong, easily understood tax system.
Re: So cancel corporation tax@hollymcr
I think you misunderstand how the idea of stopping VAT being reclaimable could work. I agree it is currently intended to be reclaimable through the B2B value chain, and thus only paid by the final retail user, but it doesn't need to be in certain exceptional circumstances, like tax dodging globo-corps. That doesn't mean that non-reclaimable VAT leads to a rise in prices.
The companies' asking price is set by what they think the market will take. If Starbucks can't reclaim their VAT because they are a bunch of tax dodging thieves, that doesn't automatically inflate their price (in exactly the same way, have you noticed that their coffee is priced more cheaply at the till because they currently dodge UK taxes? Thought not). If Starbucks were unable to reclaim VAT, they could try and increase their retail price accordingly but customers can then save 20% by going to Costa, or they can choose to pay the extra, and effectively pay Starbucks corporate tax bill on their behalf. The same applies in a B2B context, that Google's prices to business advertisers only change if Google wish to, in reality the market wouldn't accept a 20% hike in rates.
Re: Ban international companies.
There are already plenty of rules on transfer pricing, as this is called, intended to stop this. But as the tax code becomes ever more complex (around 10,000 pages int he UK now), the easier it has become to find a loophole. F*ckwit politicians make this systematically worse by signing up to complex and ill understood agreements that sometimes work and sometimes don't. So due to international trade agreements we let in bazillions of quids worth of Chinese goods, they buy next to nothing from us, and there's very little manufacturing left in this country - that's a bad outcome. We (around El Reg) weep, rend our clothes and gnash our teeth about offshoring of jobs to India, but actually we have a trade balance with India that is (shock, horror) fairly well balanced - that is a good outcome, even if we don't like some of the detail.
In this case, our snivel servants and corrupt pols believe they need to kow-tow to European free trade rules that their predecessors signed up to. Obviously nobody signed up believing that these rules would enable Yank corporations to dodge all local taxes, but I shan't hold me breath for anybody in Westminster sorting this out, least of all Spineless Dave.
Re: So cancel corporation tax@ David Webb
So make VAT reclaimability based on paying an appropriate level of corporation tax, or having a valid excuse for not declaring a profit and paying tax (eg startups, genuinely exceptional losses). It really is that simple. And no offsets or witholding element, so that anybody trying to do tax tourism ends up paying both countries tax.
At the moment the complete w@nkers at HMRC will hound me to death's door over submitting a f***ing tax return (even when all my income is through PAYE), but when Google tell them "sorry, made no UK profits on our UK revenues of $4bn, we're just operating here as an act of charity", the HMRC tw@ts go, "oh, alright then", and go back to polishing their pension statements.
Re: Is it just me?
"Or is Apple getting bitchslapped from every direction?"
They've lost a few, won a few. In this legal warfare, Apple (sitting on around $100 billion of cash) reason that they can afford to pay the lawyer more so than most other companies. Google "only" has $40 billion, but that's plenty enough to stay in the game. But what Apple can do by this approach is to frighten off the small fry, and the financially weak, and that's a win for them. People like RIM will have to worry about BB10 and future devices - "are we at risk of being sued by Apple?" will be a bigger concern than "does it work?". Apple also have the corporate management resource to do this. Other cost constrained companies don't have the management overhead to control multi-billion dollar legal budgets, or to develop offensive strategies based on lawyers as troops.
Where Apple is losing from this, now that's more interesting, because it's not the legal fees. There's recently been the first ever drop in the proportion of iPhone owners intending to have an iPhone next time round - still very high levels of satisfaction that anybody else would envy, but perhaps a tipping point. Fanbois aside, nobody is really impressed with the iPhone5. They've stumbled with IOS6 and with the maps fiasco. They've been caught out "borrowing without permission" with regard to Swiss Railways. The latest iPad isn't really much of an advance on the last one. The walled garden is starting to grate with some (but not all users). And throwing their weight around, and their childish demeanour is starting to damage their reputation with customers.
When you think what Apple is good at, it's not patent trolling or litigation - there's companies who do that for a living and are good at it. It is good at product development of shiny, innovative, polished yet easy to use products. Or rather, it was good at these things under the great dictator. Under Cook there's been nothing that really looks novel, and they now spend more on lawyers than on product development. With progressively declining reasons to upgrade generation on generation, their high end, high margin market is at risk of slowing, unless emerging markets offset a flattening market in the developed world (and even then, that merely buys a couple of years). I think Apple's position as the world's most valuable company looks like a high water moment, from which the tide is going to go out, unless they can innovate something pretty spectacular, but with the boardroom intent on keeping lawyers employed rather than technologists and product developers, what are the chances?
Re: Google's level of detail...
"Google maps is still poor in a lot of areas even in western nations"
True, but more important to me, and a problem in both urban and rural areas is the rather suspect functionality and interface, the lack of offline directions, the loss of directions at critical moments (the Bong of Doom), the lack of camera warnings and speed limit advisory, weak lane direction.
It's a bit of a laugh that Crapple users are bleating that they have a worse mapping offer than Google Maps, given how limited Google Maps is. Of course, if mapping is a priority then there's an obvious choice of phone, and that's Nokia (as long as they haven't ruined it since the days gone by when I had a 5800).
Can't see the the fanbois trading their jesus phones for a Lumia, myself.
Re: It'll all end in tears...
I'd agree that Apple are imploding. When a tech company spends more on lawyers than on R and D you can be sure that it has lost the plot.
Having said that, with the cash mountain Apple have this is going to be a long and slow implosion.
Apple will be the next RIM.
Re: The chances of anything coming from Mars...........
Well, if Uranus is anything like mine, then we're talking about copious quantities of methane that are definitely associated with primitive life, regardless off ambient temperature.
Re: 5th Nov@Lee Dowling
A- "Lee writes lucidly, with speed and authority, but he must learn to be more concise"
Re: Android Fanbois@Regulator-RICHTO
"you all as android fans cannot accept the fact there actually might be a good 3rd alternative to a smartphone device"
Most of us would concede that WP8 will be a competent phone OS. And most of us expect it to become the third man. The problem is that there's not going to be much money gained by pushing in as a latecomer who (and this is the critical bit) offers nothing new. To be undifferentiated in a market of three, now there's an achievement.
Being "good" isn't enough. I won't buy a WP phone even though it probably is quite good. I won't buy it because it doesn't offer anything new, it comes with an interface that looks poor to my eyes, and MS (and key partner) Nokia have a poor record of running away from their customers, leaving unsupported or not quite finished software.
And MS's refusal to offer a proper desktop version of Windows 8, despite clear communication from consumers proves that this is a company that still doesn't care about its customers.
Re: Environmental Accounting
Last time I looked, Tesla were making losses not far off their turnover. So the company are spending about £150,000 for each Model S they sell. None of that goes back to Musk, because they haven't made a profit despite the levels of government subsidies.
Tesla is a vanity project. Having said that, I doubt that Nissan make much profit on a highly subsidied Leaf, so arguably that's corporate vanity.
Normally I don't have much respect for people producing flash but expensive cars, because that's easy if you're charging enough, but in this case I'd give more credit to Tesla for trying to make an electric car worth owning and driving, rather than Nissan trying to make it cheap and cheerful.
Re: How long before
"Seems they are much more interested in the money than creativity."
Lucky for us that the young George Lucas was solely dedicated to high art, then. Imagine if he'd wasted his talent with a series of trashy sci-fi films, woodenly acted, and accompanied by endless merchandising?
Re: The upside for Hitachi is...@John Murray
"Battery capacity is being solved, using pumped electrolyte cells. "
I doubt it. It seems to me that reversible chemical reactions don't seem to involve much energy (which is probably why they are reversible). That equates to very low energy density, and for grid applications means that the storage units would be unfeasibly large.
Re: Re While some will no doubt point to Fukushima as a sign@TeeCee
"Nothing wrong with gennies in the basement, as long as you can be 100% certain that it isn't going to get filled with water."
Basements always fill with water. Not that far from the nuke site at Oldbury is the Mythe Water Treatment Works. In the 2007 floods that was knocked out for weeks because the pumps were in a basement (well, a dry sump) that flooded, and as a result the electrical gear was kaput, the water mains lost pressure, and about a thousand kilometres of water main connected to that works then had to be resterilised.
Re: Finally! @hplasm
A step forwards for E.ON and RWE, who sold a few fields to Hitachi for £700m, having paid less than half of that in the first place. Because the Horizon JV was not looking to use the Hitachi plant, nothing that the JV did in terms of planning or approvals will have any transferrability to Hitachi's proposals. By my reckoning this adds £0.4bn to the outturn price of any reactors eventually built, before anybody has even started to design or plan anything. Smooth..
To overpay by this amount suggests that Hitachi don't have a clue, which is a bit worrying for us plebs, since they're going to have to recover these costs through the electricity bill, and our equally clueless politicians and even more clueless civil servants are busy working to ensure that our power bills go up by whatever ti takes to buy DECC's toys.
Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?@Tom 7
"I've just been to my family home with wattle and daub walls that are 350 years old. I bet in 350 years time there wont be any modern homes still standing."
Care to guess what proportion of the wattle & daub housing stock actually survived? The few we've still got were the tiny handful that were (by chance) competently built, and then maintained across the intervening few hundred years. The same durability plus some would apply to modern houses, in the unlikely event that they were properly maintained.
@ A J Stiles
"We ran out of coal,"
Oi! There's around 860 billion tonnes of known coal reserves worldwide, mostly excluding subsea formations that would probably treble that number, and noting that there's large tracts of the planet where nobody has bothered to look for coal.
I'll put this in capitals because you're missing it: THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF HYDROCARBON FOSSIL FUELS. What there is a declining reserve of cheap to produce, convenient to handle forms of hydrocarbon, in particular light crude oil. That's probably more than offset for a few decades by the increasing reserves (ie we're finding it faster than we're using it) of gas, where there's currently around 200 trillion cubic metres of gas reserves, with probably a lot more in the form of shale gas that isn't currently classified in the reserves. Remaining oil reserves are going to be more expensive to produce (eg deep sea and sub-salt reserves), and more difficult to use cleanly and efficiently (for example oil sands), but this idea of "running out tomorrow" is not correct. In the next decade some Gulf Coperation Council countries will begin to stop exporting oil (due to rising domestic use and falling output) and there will then be total panic over Peak Oil, and the idea of "running out of oil" will become a mainstream belief, but it's essentially incorrect.
Even when that lot has been exhausted there's trillions of tonnes of hydrocarbons left, in the shape of gas hydrates and oil and tar shales, none of which can be extracted economically at present (and we'd need new technologies, not just price rises to be able to do that.
So, fossil fuels - finite, but plenty around. Costs going to rise as we've used the good quality cheap stuff first, and on both counts makes sense to develop renewables. But the cost of renewables needs to fall, and we need to fix the energy storage problem. Sadly the UK is doing very, very little on developing energy storage (compared to say the US or Germany). Meanwhile, instead of proper science and engineering research into energy storage the UK government fritters our research budget on more and more studies by geographers and other pseudo-scientists to prove that climate change is going to kill us all.
Re: Price fixing cartel@PlacidCasual
"I'm not convinced privatisation and competition is the best solution to this market simply becuase the facts of life are all so similar."
Well, the same principle applies for mass market cars, physical distribution services, food retailing, any commodity product or service at all.
If you think that state provision of all these items is a good idea, then put your hand up.
Re: Yes, lets focus @ A J Styles
"I can only assume it is because they think that downvoting people who point out that the party is going to end, is somehow going to keep the party from ending."
Not sure why you got so many downvotes on that comment. But I think the question is how, and how quickly we transition to renewables. The current "plan" is a halfwitted panic, is expensive, ineffective and puts people off renewables. You're right that the party will end sooner or later. If we can use things like shale gas to prolong the oil age, then perhaps renewables can be developed to a level of cost and functionality that they will work.
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